My wife and I just returned from a 9 day 4 port cruise on the Explorer of the Seas. We had an absolutely glorious time. The ship, despite being an older Voyager class ship, is fantastic. The sailing conditions were nearly ideal. The weather cooperated nicely with very bearable sea states. The cabin was very comfortable, with room for all the stuff we brought with us for a vow renewal in full wedding regalia and for a long scrap booking crop. Having a balcony cabin made it that much more fun and romantic. Our stateroom attendant was extremely helpful to us, knowing us on sight and by name.
Even on a tight budget, there was always plenty to do. Jimmy Rhodes, the Cruise Director, is a riot! There were always activities to check out. The ice show was particularly fun, opening to some of my favorite music. The live music was excellent, in many different genres. We had one particularly nice experience in the Cloud Nine room, when, while my wife and a friend were working on their scrap booking, one of the musicians came in to wind down after an afternoon of playing reggae on the pool deck. He sat to the piano and played some beautiful jazz for us. He said he liked to come there to practice, but what we got was far better than mere practice. Another wonderful time was the party at the midnight buffet. Good music, good dancing, lots of fun.
The food was generally outstanding. Our servers did an outstanding job keeping up with a very big serving area, always ready to take care of our needs. They work very hard at multiple venues, and really earned their pay and gratuity. The beverage service (I had the soda package) worked quite well. The Windjammer and Island Grill had excellent selections. The Mongolian stir fry, made to our selections, was quite good. The main dining experience was quite good, especially after dealing with some early problems with our orders being given low priority in the kitchen. Our servers did their best to help us. The only criticism I would give on food and drink would be the lack of choices outside the Windjammer and main dining for non - soda and non - alcohol drinkers. Outside those two venues, with the exception of the last night, the selection was ice water only. The other criticism, and, unfortunately, it has to be a slam, has to go to room service. Room service, quite frankly, was downright poor. Contacting them took forever. Getting the order took excessive time. The worst, though, was a breakfast we ordered for day 3, the morning of our vow renewal. We put the order out within the required time frame but it never showed. The next morning, we get a knock on the door, and there's our breakfast, exactly 24 hours late. Ooops!
The service from the crew was excellent. They did everything they could to make our stay enjoyable. The Cruise Program Administrator comes in for particular kudos for the way she made our vow renewal one of the most memorable days of our lives. She worked with us from the get-go to get every detail just right. The ceremony was as close to perfect as humanly possible. Many, Many Thanks!
The only issue we had was with the ATM's aboard. They were offline for 95 percent of the cruise. Not only did we have issues with them, I watched as one guest sat for quite some time watching one of them, hoping it would come online. Not good.
Other than the room service and ATM bobbles, our experience on the Explorer of the Seas was outstanding, and we would sail on her again any time.